My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Transcript of Los Angeles 2010 Census Press Conference: Indianapolis, Indiana Gets Screwed!

Apologies for the awkward numbering system, but that’s how the transcript came in…Check out how Indianapolis is getting SCREWED by the Census Bureau (scroll down to the Q&A portion…I understand that Dr. Groves was under the weather during this press conference, but still, there were way too few questions asked and answered here!):
3                        TRANSCRIPTION OF


5                         PRESS BRIEFING

6                          March 1, 2010






12               Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center

13                      1600 East Fourth Street

14                   Los Angeles, California 90033

15                             7:57 a.m.








23    Reported by:

24    Brandy R. Stull

25    CSR #13381


1          Monday, March 1, 2010; Los Angeles, California

2                              -0-

3                            7:57 a.m.

4             MR. COOK:  Good morning.  I’d like to welcome

5    everybody here for our third 2010 Census Operational

6    Press Briefing.  Just to let you know, we are going to

7    have remarks from City Counselman Jose Huizar, and then

8    Dr. Groves will give his remarks.  Following it, we will

9    have Q and A.  Just to let everyone know, that if you

10    have questions pertaining to anything above and beyond

11    2010 census operations, please see me after the

12    operational press briefing.  And for people who are

13    calling in, you can dial (301) 763-3691 and talk to the

14    decennial media relations team.  Without further ado, Mr.

15    Jose Huizar.

16             MR. HUIZAR:  Good morning, everyone.  It’s quite

17    exciting this morning for the east side of Los Angeles

18    and for Boyle Heights to have the presence of the

19    director of — the United States Census Bureau director,

20    Dr. Robert Groves.  As many of you know, this center here

21    is a community center that provides many opportunities

22    for our young people and for the local community, and it

23    really has transformed this neighborhood.

24             I want to first thank Ozzie Lopez, the director

25    of the center, for allowing us to be here, and I want to


1    welcome Dr. Robert Groves to the center.  We welcome you

2    to Los Angeles and thank you for coming to Boyle Heights

3    and to the east side of Los Angeles.  Your presence here

4    today speaks to the importance of the challenges we face

5    in getting a complete census count here on the east side,

6    which I understand was one of the most undercounted areas

7    in the nation in the last census.

8             I know later today Dr. Groves is going to be at

9    Garza Primary Center here in Boyle Heights, focusing

10    attention on what is a hard-to-count area and looking to

11    make sure that children are counted.  Unfortunately, I

12    cannot be there.  I will be in city council, grappling

13    along with my colleagues over a budget deficit that may

14    reach $600 million next fiscal year.  Now, I tell you

15    this because, given our current economic struggles,

16    Los Angeles can ill-afford to lose another $206 million

17    in vital federal dollars as it did in the census in the

18    year 2000 — the 2000 census.  Simply put, the City of

19    Los Angeles cannot afford to lose hundreds of millions of

20    dollars again and the vital services those dollars

21    provide.

22             While children from low-income families, people

23    of color, immigrants, and the homeless population top the

24    ranks of those who are most undercounted, they represent

25    the very population that would benefit the most from the


1    additional educational, health, emergency, youth and

2    senior services that would otherwise be available if the

3    counts were closer to their actual numbers.

4             I want you to know, Dr. Groves, that here in

5    Boyle Heights I’m working with your staff, the mayor’s

6    office, and have started a complete count committee.

7    We’re recording with businesses, schools, and 15

8    non-profits to make sure all of Boyle Heights residents

9    are counted in 2010.  The committee will do all possible

10    to let people know that filling out the census form is

11    not only risk-free and that the information provided is

12    confidential under the strictest of measures, but the

13    committee will also remind people that filling out the

14    forms is the easiest way to help bring millions of

15    dollars in educational/medical services and others to

16    their children, to the families, and local community.

17             Again, I thank you, Dr. Groves, for being here.

18    It’s a big country, and you could have gone anywhere, and

19    we thank you for being here to help us get the full

20    census count of Los Angeles in the year 2010.  Welcome,

21    Dr. Groves.

22             DR. GROVES:  It’s great to be here at Boyle

23    Heights Technology Center.  I can tell you this is a

24    lovely facility, and they’re doing wonderful work for

25    kids in training them in the technologies we’ll need for


1    the future.

2             Most of my operational press briefings have been

3    in Washington D.C.  It’s great that be on the West Coast.

4    It’s a special day for us, as you’ll see as I make my

5    remarks.  We’re launching operations right now, and I’m

6    happy to do it on the West Coast.

7             We all should know that we — the census has

8    begun.  It began in a little native Alaska village in —

9    on January 25th where, as it turned out, I enumerated the

10    very first person in the country.  We start in Alaska

11    early because, when the spring thaw comes, people leave

12    the villages for hunting and fishing activities, and

13    we — we miss them unless we start early.  That was the

14    village of Noorvik.  I thank them, the residents, for

15    taking time.  We have now enumerated the 700 people or so

16    in the village of Noorvik.  They answered ten questions

17    that will be asked of all of us in the United States over

18    the next few weeks.

19             The questions are simple ones:  The number of

20    people that live in your household, whether there might

21    be someone who will move into your household by

22    April 1st, whether the residence is owned or rented, your

23    telephone number — merely to follow up in case we can’t

24    understand some of your answers.  Then we’ll throw your

25    phone number away — name, sex, age, date of birth,


1    whether you are Hispanic or Latino origin, your race, and

2    whether a person in the household sometimes lives

3    somewhere else.  Those are the questions.  We’re not

4    asking income.  We’re not asking social security number.

5    This is indeed the shortest census form in our lifetimes.

6    I can say that with great assurance.

7             Now, we’re all excited at the Census Bureau

8    today because we’re beginning a big operation.  For over

9    12 million households in the country, census takers will

10    be visiting, starting this morning.  These 12 million

11    households, representing about 9 percent of the

12    population, are disproportionately rural households where

13    the addresses are not city-style addresses; where the

14    mail may not be delivered to that particular housing

15    unit.  A few weeks ago, a letter was sent to these

16    households, announcing that a census taker would drop off

17    a questionnaire, and indeed, that’s what’s going to

18    happen over the next few weeks.

19             I want to show you what this will all look like.

20    A census taker will be carrying a bag that looks like

21    this.  It has a big census logo on it.  You can’t miss

22    it.  So if someone knocks on your door in these 12

23    million households, these rural households over the next

24    few weeks or in other households over the following

25    weeks, look for this bag.  That’s one signal that this is


1    a Census Bureau employee.  And then they’ll have a badge

2    that has a — a Commerce Department Census Bureau seal on

3    it.  It will have a name and an expiration date.  They’ll

4    be wearing this around their neck generally.  So there

5    are two signals:  The bag and the — and the badge.

6             Now, in this operation which we call update

7    leave — this is Census Bureau jargon — means we’re

8    updating our list of addresses, and then we’re leaving a

9    questionnaire.  What will happen is that the census taker

10    will knock on the door.  If someone’s there, they will

11    hand this plastic bag to them.  If they’re not there,

12    they’ll hang it on the doorknob of the front door.

13    Inside the bag is a census package that is an envelope

14    that looks like this.  It has “Census 2010” right on the

15    front of it in real bold letters.  It notes that “Your

16    response is required by law.”  We’ve learned that putting

17    that message on the envelope really reminded people how

18    serious the census is and how important it is to respond.

19    And then, inside the envelope, there’s a little letter

20    from the director that asks for their participation, and

21    there is this very short ten-question questionnaire that

22    you may have seen.  Takes ten minutes to fill out.  And

23    then there’s a return envelope, postage free.  You don’t

24    have to put a stamp on this.  And all we ask you to do is

25    to take a few minutes and fill that out and mail it back


1    by April 1.

2             So 12 million households in mostly rural areas

3    are getting this.  In your press kits you’ll see a map of

4    the United States that designates what areas are getting

5    this operation; where we’re dropping off the

6    questionnaire using our staff.  You’ll see that there are

7    vast geographical areas that are covered this way, but

8    there aren’t many living there.  There are only about 12

9    million people.

10             So this is a big day for us.  The next big days

11    coming up will affect the rest of the population.  In the

12    first week of March, most — about 90 percent of the

13    households will get a letter in the mail from me.  I’ve

14    signed 200 million letters.  My hand is very sore.  And

15    then about a week later, between March 15th and

16    March 17th, you’ll get your questionnaire package —

17    exactly the same thing I just showed you with the

18    questionnaire, letter, and a prepaid return envelope.

19             Those in — in about 12 million of the

20    households, those questionnaires will be bilingual;

21    Spanish on one side, English on the other.  We’ve

22    targeted heavy Latino areas for that treatment in order

23    to make it easier for Spanish-speaking and

24    Spanish-reading residents to fill those out.

25             Again, the job is simple.  All you have to do is


1    to to fill out the form and mail it back.  And then I

2    should mention one other group:

3             In a set of areas where mail is not delivered

4    and we have a tough time keeping the address list up, we

5    will actually visit houses — this is about 1 percent of

6    the houses — visit houses and do the interview in

7    person, take the ten questions in a face-to-face

8    interview.  With those who receive the mailing, we — we

9    will send you an advance letter.  Then we’ll sent a

10    questionnaire packet, and then we’re going to send you a

11    little reminder card to help you remember maybe to pick

12    it off your desk and — and fill it out in case you’ve

13    forgotten to do so.  In some areas we’ll also send a

14    replacement questionnaire.  That will take place in the

15    first week or two of April.

16             We do these multiple contacts.  I know a lot of

17    people are worried about federal spending right now.  So

18    why do we do these advance letter, reminder card,

19    replacement questionnaires?  There’s a very simple

20    reason.  We’ve learned in our tests in the past decade

21    that giving these little reminders to folks encourages

22    them to return the questionnaire.  If — if you return

23    the questionnaire, it costs the federal government about

24    $0.42.  If you don’t return the questionnaire, we have to

25    go out and visit your house because we need to count


1    everyone.  When we go out and visit your house, we spend

2    about $57.  $0.42 versus $57.  You can see why we — we

3    try to encourage people to fill it out in — in —

4    through the mail.

5             Census day is April 1.  We attempt to measure

6    the population.  It’s a snapshot of the population for

7    April 1, and we encourage you to report your household

8    composition — everyone who is living there — at the

9    April 1 time frame.  It’s a reference date.  It’s not a

10    deadline to return the questionnaire.  So if you get a

11    questionnaire and you know your household will have —

12    you know what the membership of your household will be on

13    April 1, fill it out right away.  Then you don’t have to

14    worry about failing to turn it in.  We will — we hope

15    you turn it in by April 1.

16             Now, I said today’s a big day because of those

17    12 million households being visited.  Let me tell you the

18    other steps that we’re going to do.  We will do, between

19    March 19th and April 12th, an enumeration of what we call

20    transitory location.  What do those mean?  What do I mean

21    by that?  Those are RV parks, campgrounds, hotels,

22    motels, marinas, circuses throughout the country.  We

23    will count them at those locations.  We will count people

24    at those locations if they do not have a usual household

25    somewhere else.  So our questionnaire will ask that.


1             Between March 22nd and May 29th, we will begin

2    this process of going out and doing interviews face to

3    face in — in the so-called “update enumerate areas.”

4    These are American Indian reservations and South Texas

5    colonias and so on.

6             Between March 29th and March 31st, we will do an

7    operation called service-based enumeration.  This is

8    where our census takers will visit locations set up for

9    people who are experiencing homelessness.  These are

10    shelters, soup kitchens, regular stops of mobile food

11    vans, and targeted non-sheltered outdoor locations.  We

12    will have a staff of about 92,000 people doing that.

13             Between April 1 and May 14th, we will do
14    enumeration of group quarters.  These are places that are

15    like dormitories, assisted-living facilities, prisons

16    throughout the country.  We’ll have a staff of about

17    18,000 people.  This will be going to about 235,000

18    locations.

19             And then, starting May 1, for those, I hope, few

20    households that don’t return the questionnaire by mail,

21    we will do an operation called nonresponse follow up, and

22    this will be visiting maybe as many as 48 million

23    households.  We’ll have as many as 680-, 700,000 census

24    takers throughout the country knocking on doors.  I would

25    love to make that operation smaller because everyone


1    returns their mail questionnaire and we don’t have to do

2    that at all.

3             Now, at this time, since we’re getting very

4    close, I need to give some other operational updates, and

5    that is how can you get help when you get your census

6    form?  How do you get help if you can’t understand it?

7    If you don’t know what to do?  We will have

8    questionnaire — telephone questionnaire assistance

9    numbers.  They’ll be published when the questionnaires

10    come out.  You can call these toll-free numbers.  You’ll

11    be able to talk to people that can speak your language.

12    Our operators can speak many, many different languages,

13    and this will help you fill out your form.

14             We — we will also have, believe it or not,

15    throughout the country over 30,000 centers located in

16    neighborhoods — these are kindly donated by churches,

17    community centers, schools around the country — where

18    there will be Census Bureau staff to help you fill out

19    the questionnaires.  We call these questionnaire

20    assistance centers.  We’ll publish where those are.

21    They’ll be on our Web site.  And then finally, we — we

22    will have centers for people who, for some reason or

23    another if we’ve made a mistake and we haven’t gotten a

24    questionnaire to you, you haven’t been counted, we’ll

25    have other centers where, in addition to the


1    questionnaire assistance centers for getting forms,

2    they’ll be called “be counted form centers” where you’ll

3    be able to pick up a questionnaire.  All of this is

4    published online at our Web Site 2010Census.Gov.

5             Now, some of you — let me turn how now to the

6    media campaign, the communications outreach.  This is the

7    moment that all of our media attention and communication

8    campaign and partnership operations has been focused on.

9    As you may know, we have purchased advertising in a lot

10    of different media.  We have advertised on the Super

11    Bowl.  We’ve advertised on the Olympics.  We will

12    advertise on — on the March Madness basketball

13    tournament.  Why are we doing this?  We are spending

14    advertising money in order to try to reduce the money

15    we’d spend on the nonresponse follow up.  For every one

16    percentage point of households that return the forms, we

17    save $85 million of tax payer money.  This is real money

18    that we could return to the treasury if everyone turns in

19    their — their questionnaires.

20             So we have been blessed with over 200,000

21    organizations around the country, some as small as small

22    residence associations, neighborhood residence

23    associations, some as big as multinational corporations

24    like Best Buy and Target.  The Chamber of Commerce has

25    helped us, and they have agreed in a voluntary way to get


1    the word out.  It is the moment for the partners to

2    energize themselves even more to get the word out that,

3    when we get our forms, we need to turn them in.  I thank

4    all of the political, religious, and social leaders,

5    including President Obama, who have given public service

6    announcements via video that are being broadcast

7    throughout the country.  We need the help of everyone,

8    the media included, to get the word out that this is

9    something that we all need to do.  It’s a good thing for

10    the country.

11             Just a note on federal spending:  These

12    questionnaire assistance centers and be counted form

13    sites and sites where we’re testing has been donated

14    space for our activities, and I want to thank all those

15    organizations around the country who have done it.  We’ve

16    tallied up what the federal government would have to pay

17    for that donated space over the time, and it tallies, in

18    our figures, over $300 million of donated space from

19    local entities that have joined with us to make sure this

20    is a successful census.  So I thank them deeply.  You’ve

21    saved us all money by donating that space, and it’s been

22    a wonderful thing.  A couple of other things.

23             One of the neatest things we’re going to do over

24    the news few weeks — and the media should love this —

25    is over the last weeks of March, we will be publishing


1    the return rate of questionnaires down to really small

2    neighborhood areas.  You’ll be able to go to our Web

3    site, type in a Zip Code, and up in front of you will be

4    the return rates for areas in that Zip Code.

5             We can all follow how we’re doing.  We can note

6    neighborhoods that are way ahead of where they were in

7    2000, and we can cheer their success.  We can look at

8    neighborhoods that are falling behind, and we can say,

9    “Hey, let’s get the word out to that neighborhood to get

10    those questionnaires in.”  It’s completely transparent,

11    completely public.  It’s something we can all watch to

12    make this a very successful census.  So I — I hope you

13    take a look at that.

14             We have a variety of software widgets that can

15    be downloaded, so if you’re one of our partner

16    organizations, one of these 200,000 partner

17    organizations, you can download the widgets, and you can

18    display your area on your Web site.  You can — we can

19    make this a viral sort of thing.  We’re doing a lot of

20    online and social media.  You’ll see us on Twitter and

21    YouTube and Facebook.  I invite everybody to go to this

22    Web site 2010Census.Gov that’s in both — in English and

23    completely replicated in Spanish.  I have a blog.

24    There’s another blog.  We’re trying goat the story out,

25    and we need — we need the help of everybody to make sure


1    that everyone understands that this is a very important

2    thing that we do together.

3             This is the 23rd census of this country.  We’ve

4    done it every year — every ten years since 1790.  We

5    reapportion the House.  We redistribute tax payer money

6    to neighborhoods, cities, and states based on this.  It

7    repaints the portrait of America.  Secondly, this is a

8    very easy thing to do.  We’ve made it as simple as we

9    possibly can.  It’s only ten minutes to fill this out to

10    get the rewards for the ten years.  And then, finally,

11    this is a very safe thing for all of us to do.  For those

12    populations new to the country that don’t know how the

13    United States does a census, we do it in a way that, when

14    you give information to the Census Bureau, it goes

15    nowhere else.  It goes to no enforcement agency.  It goes

16    to no landlord.  It goes to no tax-taking agency at the

17    local, state, or national level.  I take an oath.  My

18    fellow colleagues take an oath that keeps those data

19    confidential.  I go to prison for five years and have a

20    $250,000 fine if I violate that oath.  It is a safe thing

21    to participate in.

22             So the 2010 census is important, it’s easy, and

23    it’s safe, and I hope everyone, when you get your form —

24    however you’re getting it over the next few days — will

25    fill it out and mail it back.  So I’m — I — I’m happy


1    to see you all here.  I’m happy to take questions.

2    Michael will —

3             MR. COOK:  Just a quick reminder for media

4    that’s in the room and those 15 affiliates that are on

5    the call.  If you have questions that are pertaining to

6    things above and beyond census operations, for those of

7    you here, please — please contact me immediately after.

8    And those on the call, if you would please call

9    (301) 763-3691, the decennial media relations team will

10    assist you.  And we’ll go ahead and start with any

11    questions.

12             UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  Why you feel that — you

13    know, the estimate of 42 million people who are not going

14    to send in this simple form — what’s the logic as to why

15    they aren’t doing this?  What’s the data showed in the

16    past?

17             DR. GROVES:  This is a great question.  So the

18    question really is why — so why don’t people turn in the

19    form?  If I can paraphrase the — the question.

20             We’ve studied this over the decades, and there

21    are multiple reasons.  The vast majority of the people, I

22    can tell you, kind of set it aside.  You know, you get

23    something in the mail, and you put it aside with your

24    bills and — and you forget to fill it out.  Why do I say

25    that?  I say that because, when we go and call on them


1    afterwards or knock on their door, they say, “Oh, gee.  I

2    meant to fill it out.  I’m sorry.  I’ll fill — you know,

3    I’m happy to do it.”  That’s the vast majority.  Other

4    people have impediments that have to do with language and

5    culture.  And let met take the language thing first.

6             We know in — in the Los Angeles School

7    District, by the way, I believe the — the kids speak

8    over 120 languages, maybe over 130 languages.  You get a

9    form in a language you can’t read very well, that’s a —

10    that’s a bigger burden than — than otherwise.  We’ve

11    tried to address that this year.  We have forms in six

12    different languages.  We have language-assistance guides

13    that we call that are essentially translations of the

14    questionnaire in 59 languages.  So that’s another reason

15    that — that people don’t fill it out.

16             I think the third reason we’ve — we’re doing

17    studies of this right now.  Young people have never

18    been — say, people 18 to 29 who are forming their

19    households for the first time, living on their own, left

20    their parents’ house — they’ve never done a census

21    before.  They’re used to having their parents take care

22    of them on bunches of things, and so suddenly they’re now

23    getting a census form, and we want them to fill it out.

24    You know, they’re on their own now, and that’s a big

25    challenge for us.  So there are a lot of different


1    reasons so — and they’re diverse reasons.  It’s a great

2    question.

3             MR. COOK:  And just real quickly, when you ask

4    your question, please make sure and note your media

5    affiliation.

6             DR. GROVES:  Yes?

7             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATIONS:  Hi, I’m with

8    Eastern Group Publications.  I wanted to find out how —

9    what additional resources you put into the East LA area

10    where it’s — I guess it’s the second-most uncounted area

11    and also how you feel that campaign is doing.

12             DR. GROVES:  This is a question about East LA

13    specifically.  Jamie Christy, our regional director, is

14    here and is a much better person to answer specific LA

15    questions.  I can tell you with regard to the advertising

16    effort, that, in contrast to 2000 when we first note, the

17    2000 was the first time we did paid advertising.  In

18    prior decades, we did public service announcements that

19    ran about 3 o’clock in the morning.  No one saw them.

20    The paid advertising in 2000 really worked.  It reversed

21    decade-long declines in response rates, so we did it

22    again.  This time, we’ve targeted the advertising

23    differently.  We’re targeting more to local media markets

24    than to national media markets.  We did it the opposite

25    way last time.  We are — we have special campaigns for


1    separate ethnic subgroups using in-language media as much

2    as possible.

3             I’ve talked to many ethnic media around the

4    country.  I wish we had more money to — to spread

5    everywhere.  We — we have a campaign — we have a

6    campaign that was targeted to the — disproportionately

7    to the difficult-to-enumerate areas in-language media as

8    much as possible.  We’ve executed that.  We’ve held back

9    some money, though, and this is an important thing to

10    note.  We’ve held back money nationally because, just

11    like you, we’re going to be watching these returns come

12    out the last week of March.  And when things aren’t doing

13    as well as we hoped, we’re going to target media buys in

14    those areas that aren’t doing as well.  So we’re watching

15    these data as they come in.

16             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATIONS:  Do you have a

17    national strategy about — do you have a national

18    strategy about targeting areas that are undercounted?

19             DR. GROVES:  Yes, absolutely.  We — we have —

20    in fact, you can — there is something called a national

21    planning database that, right down to the neighborhood

22    level, we — we have these things called census tracts,

23    and we have targeted — we’ve studied characteristics of

24    those tracts.  Our partner activities have been targeted

25    at the tract level, so we’ve built relationships with


1    individual organizations within the hard-to-enumerate

2    tracts based on the data we have in order to get special

3    attention to those tracts, and this is in complete

4    concert integrated with the paid media campaign.

5             I must note that the partnership activities —

6    these 200,000 organizations that last decade numbered

7    about 120,000 — this is almost double the number.  This

8    is the heartbeat of the decennial census.  These local

9    organizations that know their neighborhoods that are

10    trusted voices in local ethnic groups and local

11    neighborhoods are what makes the census work.  National

12    campaigns, a guy from Washington saying something,

13    doesn’t make the census successful.  What makes the

14    census successful is if you — you hear from your

15    neighborhood leaders that this is an important thing for

16    our group to participate in, and this is going on

17    throughout the country.

18             MR. COOK:  We have El Paso Times on the line.

19             DR. GROVES:  The El Paso Times has a question?

20    El Paso Times, question?

21             EL PASO TIMES:  Yes.  Can you hear me?

22             DR. GROVES:  I can hear you.  I can hear you

23    now.

24             EL PASO TIMES:  Yes.  So there are some readers

25    who are confused about the question of race because most


1    of our covered areas is Hispanic.  81 percent is

2    Hispanic, and they think that Question 5 really answers

3    the question, and they don’t know what to put in the

4    Question 6.  They don’t consider themselves white or

5    black or American Indian.  So what do you have to say

6    about this person and how it could affect the count?

7             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  So this is a question about

8    filling out race for someone who looks at the racial

9    categories, especially Latinos, and — and doesn’t know

10    what to do.  The race question is probably the question

11    that I get the most queries about.  It’s a question

12    that’s a uniquely American question.  This is a question

13    that changes every decade, by the way, almost.

14             For people — the first thing to note is that

15    this is your self-report, what you consider yourself to

16    be in these racial terms.  If you look at all of the

17    labels and you say, “Multiple ones of them apply to me,”

18    you can check multiple boxes.  If you look at all the

19    labels and you say, “Gee, I don’t think of myself as any

20    of these labels.  I don’t see myself here at all,” then

21    we have, at the very bottom of Question 9, a — a place

22    where you can write in what you want to call — what you

23    think of yourselves of as in racial terms.  And that’s

24    what we would encourage your readers to do.  So look at

25    the question.  If they think multiple boxes apply, you


1    can check multiple boxes.  If you see nothing there, then

2    write — write in at the very last box.

3             EL PASO TIMES:  And I’m sorry.  Has this

4    question changed — the Number 5, the question about

5    ethnicity — has it changed in the last decade or so?

6             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  You’re — you’re looking at

7    different question numbers — oh, I see what you’re

8    doing.  Okay.  I see what you’re doing now.

9             Question Number 5 on — on ethnicity has changed

10    over time.  Last — the last decade’s research has

11    studied the effect of asking ethnicity and race in

12    different orders, and interestingly enough, people answer

13    differently depending on whether you ask race first or

14    ethnicity first.  This is a fascinating result.  And so

15    it turned out that it looked like the most accurate data

16    we could get is by asking ethnicity first.  The

17    categories themselves have changed slightly.  The prompts

18    have changed slightly over the decades.

19             EL PASO TIMES:  Thank you.

20             DR. GROVES:  Thank you.

21             MR. COOK:  Questions?

22             DR. GROVES:  Question in the back.

23             LA GARMENT & CITIZEN:  Hi, My name’s Jerry

24    Sullivan.  I’m with the Los Angeles Garment & Citizen.

25    There’s been some dissatisfaction, especially among


1    ethnic media, expressed about the advertising campaign

2    and the media buy.  I also have heard that your media

3    reps in the local areas have not been asked for any

4    advice or even been allowed to talk to the advertising

5    agency about that, and it strikes me as a bit of a

6    disconnect.  It seems like your staffers who are closest

7    to the ground in terms of media market and understanding

8    local media haven’t had any input into the media plan.

9             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  So this is a question about

10    the media buys.  Let me — let me describe the process

11    that produced the — the whole thing.

12             Before I — I’ve been the director since July of

13    2009.  A few years earlier, there was a large open

14    competition for the national advertising contract, and

15    the contract was focused on the entire media plan, not

16    just the — the mass market, but also all the ethnic

17    markets.  So a consortia of advertising agencies banded

18    together to write different proposals.  The winning

19    proposal was selected.  The team — it was — it’s a

20    coalition of about 12 or 13 different agencies.  Many of

21    them are minority-owned focused who have devoted their

22    company’s mission to ethnic media.  And then there —

23    they are indeed implementing the plan under the oversight

24    of the Census Bureau.

25             In order to get media, the media plan itself was


1    focused on the hard-to-count groups and then media

2    outlets that hit those groups.  From our regional offices

3    in — over the past months, suggestions for key media

4    outlets for trusted media outlets in the local areas were

5    obtained.  Those were added to the list, and then media

6    buys were made with that information and others based on

7    audited audience figures.

8             I understand these concerns throughout the

9    country.  I’ve talked to many media outlets that —

10    that — that want these contracts and serve faithfully

11    and well their — their markets.  I wish we had more

12    money.  We had to have thresholds of audience impact in

13    purchasing the media, so there are some markets where we

14    are not buying local media.  We’re relying on national

15    media.  I wish we could do local media there.  There

16    never seems to be enough money for each media outlet to

17    get what they feel they deserve in terms of these

18    concerns.  I understand the concerns.  I can say quite

19    confidently that this was an objective process based on

20    audience figures and the targeting that we wanted and the

21    media markets that had the biggest bang for their buck in

22    terms of population size, but I understand the problem.

23             LA GARMENT & CITIZEN:  But just to repeat the

24    question, was there a way for the local media reps to

25    inform, or was there —


1             DR. GROVES:  Our local regional offices gave

2    a — a — sets of media outlet names to the national

3    effort so that that local knowledge was part of the plan.

4             MR. COOK:  We have a call from Pittsburgh Post

5    on the line.

6             DR. GROVES:  Pittsburgh Post?

7             PITTSBURGH POST:  Gary Rotstein from the

8    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

9             DR. GROVES:  Hi, Gary.

10             PITTSBURGH POST:  Hi, there.  My question is

11    about the undercount in 230.  I’ve seen different — in

12    2000 I’ve seen different references to the size of the

13    undercount.  Although I know it was very low compared to

14    the past, I was wondering what the Census Bureau is using

15    as the 2000 undercount percentage and whether it’s

16    realistic to surpass that, or all you’re trying to do is

17    match that this year or — or what the goal is.

18             DR. GROVES:  Right.  Right.  There — there are

19    multiple estimates of undercount for 2000.  We are using

20    the second release that is sort of a 1.4 percent figure.

21    The “Will we surpass that in 2010” — this is truly a

22    function of what I’ve just been talking about.  This is

23    truly a function of how we behave as residents of this

24    country.  We are trying get the word out to all of us to

25    return these questionnaires.  The best data we get is


1    from the data that people fill out on the questionnaires.

2    That’s the best thing you can do.  So we will stay tuned

3    for that.

4             A big indicator — you know, there are multiple

5    indicators, Gary, of the goodness of a — of a census.

6    One is the differential undercount.  A proxy indicator of

7    that is what proportion of the households return their

8    questionnaires.  So — so that’s the thing we’re focused

9    on heavily right now.

10             So we’ll see.  We will — we do indeed have a

11    large sample survey after the census that is used to

12    evaluate the quality, the coverage of the census.  We

13    will do that, and we will also have comparisons to vital

14    registration system counts, so we’ll have multiple ways

15    of evaluating the census.

16             MR. COOK:  Any questions in the room?  Okay.  On

17    the line we have WTLC Radio.

18             DR. GROVES:  WTLC Radio?

19             WTLC RADIO:  In Indianapolis.  Good morning.

20             DR. GROVES:  Good morning.

21             WTLC RADIO:  Indianapolis is the 14th largest

22    city in the country.  It’s also the largest city in the

23    country that does not have any local census advertising.

24    The mayor of Indianapolis and the congressman that serves

25    Indianapolis, Andre Carson, wrote to you a letter two


1    weeks ago expressing concerns that hard-to-reach areas

2    may not be effectively reached with the national

3    advertising scheme that the census advertising is doing.

4    They also expressed concerns because the Indianapolis

5    local census office that will serve most of the so-called

6    hard-to-reach neighborhoods is way below par in terms of

7    their goals of getting applicants for census jobs.

8             First, have you received that letter from the

9    mayor and the congressmen?  When will you respond?  And

10    how nervous are you that a very, very large city of

11    nearly 900,000 has no — you’re — you’re depending so

12    much on the national advertising to reach hard-to-reach

13    areas in a city this large?

14             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  Let me — so that I — I see

15    you’re asking two separate questions.  One — let — let

16    me do the media thing first because I can tell you care

17    about that deeply.

18             The — I did receive that letter.  That letter

19    is — we’re responding to that letter.  The Indianapolis

20    market is like other markets on certain attributes in

21    that it — it fell below certain thresholds we — we

22    needed to — to assure the tax payers that we had the

23    biggest bang for our buck in terms of advertising.  Our

24    concern — it’s important that — that — the concern

25    that we have is to make sure that the audiences in all


1    these areas throughout the country get the message.  Not

2    whether the media that provides the message is local or

3    not, but whether the audience gets the message.  And at

4    some point, we have to do these cuts.  It’s horrible that

5    we have to do this, and I understand your grievances.

6    I — I understand your point.

7             Now, on the second point, with regard to census

8    jobs, we — we are way ahead on our recruiting in

9    general.  That’s been true in all of the 2010 operations,

10    but there are pockets throughout.  I don’t know the —

11    this particular local census office recruitment point

12    but —

13             WTLC RADIO:  You’re barely at 50 percent now —

14             DR. GROVES:  Okay.  Then it’s —

15             WTLC RADIO:  — in terms of application, and

16    you’re at 40 percent in terms of —

17             DR. GROVES:  That’s wonderful.  Then getting

18    that word out to — to your readers and viewers, I know

19    we are — we are advertising as much as we can, so that’s

20    a useful message to get out there, and you can help us.

21    I appreciate it.

22             MR. COOK:  Any more questions?  Please state

23    your name.

24             KOREA DAILY:  My name’s Jim from the Korea

25    Daily.  Related to the count, there is big difference


1    between census and the Korean government’s data.  Because

2    2000 census — according to 2000 census, 1.3 million

3    Korean-American live in the U.S., but the Korean

4    government said there’s 2.5 million, so there’s a 1.2

5    million difference.  So as far as I know, the census

6    means 100 percent; right?  So where’s — what’s the

7    difference between the two, and how can you calculate the

8    population of the Korean-Americans?

9             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  I — so this is a question

10    about the undercount in the Korean — the national Korean

11    population, and you’re comparing the census — the 2000

12    census count with the Korean government count.  I don’t

13    know — I’m sorry.  I don’t know the 2.5 million — is

14    that the number?

15             KOREA DAILY:  Yes.

16             DR. GROVES:  From the Korean government — how

17    that how that was done.  We are concerned about

18    undercounting groups that come from other countries, new

19    immigrant groups of all sorts.  This is a problem of a

20    census in every country of the world, as it turns out.

21    New immigrant groups need to understand why we do

22    censuses, why it’s important to count both citizens and

23    noncitizens, both documented and undocumented visitors to

24    the country, and that’s news for every immigrant group.

25    We — we rely on trusted voices in the Korean community


1    to get that word out; that everyone should participate

2    whether you’re a citizen or not; whether you’re

3    documented or not; and that that participation will not

4    harm you or your family because the answers to your

5    questions will not go to any enforcement agency.  We’re

6    disconnected from immigration, from the Internal Revenue

7    Service, and so on.  So that message is important to get

8    out.  Our focus right now is to make sure that everyone

9    in the Korean community — for example, your focus —

10    hears that message and believes that message and thereby

11    participates in the census.  That’s our total focus right

12    now.

13             MR. COOK:  We have a call on the line from

14    Ken Crow, The Albany Times Union.

15             ALBANY TIMES UNION:  Hello, can you hear me?

16             DR. GROVES:  Hi, Ken.

17             ALBANY TIMES UNION:  Hi, Robert.  Albany has a

18    large concentration of students, college students, who

19    were undercounted in the 2000 census,  and we’re

20    wondering what efforts the Bureau is making to ensure

21    that there’s a count of this mobile group and also the

22    confusion that exists about where they should be counted.

23    Should they be counted by their parents or here where

24    they’re residing?

25             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Great, great, great


1    question.  We have, this decade, five times as many

2    partner — so-called partner specialists.  Now, what are

3    they?  These are people who reach out to the community,

4    and many of them in areas that have a lot of universities

5    in the area have specialties reaching out to colleges and

6    universities.

7             These — there are all sorts of things going on

8    on college campuses.  The — the public relations student

9    association has a national competition for the best

10    commercials, the best way of getting the word out, best

11    marketing campaign for the census on campuses.  There

12    are, in different campuses, competitions between dorms on

13    who will have the highest percentage of individual census

14    reports filled out.  That’s going on.  At some

15    universities, they’re having competitions for YouTube
16    video commercials.  I’m a little worried about those.

17    They might get a little wild.

18             But all of this is trying to get the message out

19    that you just said; that is, college students are counted

20    where they usually live.  For the vast majority of

21    college students, this means it’s in your dorm or in

22    off-campus housing.  It’s not at your parents’ house.  If

23    you do live at your parents’ house, then you’re counted

24    there, but most college kids don’t.  That’s a new message

25    for all of them, as you implied.  We’re trying to get it


1    out as much as possible.  Several of the college

2    presidents around the country have agreed to do blanket

3    e-mails, using the university e-mail system to students

4    announcing this.

5             We are right now in the middle of an operation

6    that we call “group quarters advanced visit,” in Census

7    Bureau jargon.  We are contacting the director of every

8    dormitory in the United States right now.  The

9    operation’s going very well.  We’re almost finished, and

10    we’re asking them so how many kids are in the — in the

11    dorm?  How do you — how can we best do the census in

12    this dormitory?  Can you help us?  How can you help us?

13    And we’re — we’re getting prepared.  We didn’t do this

14    in 2000, by the way.  So this outreach is an attempt to

15    get better counts in the dorms.

16             A tougher one are — are the off-campus housing,

17    these apartments where there maybe four roommates, and no

18    one really feels they’re head of the household.  That

19    apartment is going to get one form, and we’re trying get

20    the message out to those kids to — you know, these are

21    kids who don’t eat together usually.  They see each other

22    maybe twice a week.  They kind of come and go.  They need

23    to fill out that form, and that’s a real tough group to

24    get the message out to, and if you can help on that, we’d

25    appreciate that in Albany.


1             MR. COOK:  We have a question on the line from

2    Gloria Alvarez, Eastern Group Publication.

3             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION:  Yes, good morning.

4             DR. GROVES:  Good morning.

5             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION:  Among the stated

6    goals that I sort of heard going is that you are trying

7    to get enumerators and different people hired to reflect

8    local community.  In some of these harder count

9    communities where a lot of the people may be

10    Spanish-speaking, have firm goals been established to

11    ensure that you do have Spanish-speaking people or

12    Korean-speaking, depending on the population, and are

13    you — are you meeting those hiring goals?

14             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  Yeah.  Great question.

15             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION:  And — and I’m

16    talking — and the cost of board as well in terms of

17    managers and enumerators, et cetera.

18             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  Great — great question.

19    First of all, your premise is absolutely correct.  We are

20    attempting to hire locally, and this is — when we say

21    “locally,” it’s not the same city.  You know, this is

22    really almost neighborhood by neighborhood.  Now,

23    whenever you do that, it makes it harder to recruit;

24    right?  You’re recruiting from smaller labor markets, so

25    that is a challenge.


1             And you put your finger on the biggest

2    challenge, and this is making sure we have the bilingual

3    skills that we need.  Some of these neighborhoods have

4    multiple languages we have to cover.  We are devoted to

5    that goal, and we are doing everything possible to

6    achieve that goal, and as I mentioned to an earlier

7    question, the overall recruiting is going great.  We have

8    two areas that are challenges, one in the rural areas

9    because labor markets are scattered, and the other is

10    in — in areas where we need bilingual skills, and we’re

11    still recruiting there.  We’re not going to give up on

12    this goal because we know the census is better done by

13    people who know the neighborhoods they do the census in.

14             THE SPEAKER:  And as a follow up — can I follow

15    up to that?

16             DR. GROVES:  Sure.  Looks like it.

17             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION:  Just quickly, in

18    some neighborhoods — I mean, how are you — how are you

19    determining these numbers?  For example, we know that in

20    LA there are a lot of neighborhoods in transition.

21    Inglewood, for example, which at one time was identified

22    as a primarily African-American community, it’s now sort

23    of in transition that you have a lot of Spanish speakers.

24    How are you determining numbers?  What are you —

25             DR. GROVES:  Yeah.  Yeah.


1             EASTERN GROUP PUBLICATION: — basing it on?

2             DR. GROVES:  Great — great question.  First of

3    all, we — we have data from the 2000 census on how

4    neighborhoods work, but just as you pointed out, that was

5    ten years ago.  For some neighborhoods that’s fine.

6    There haven’t been many changes.  We’ve updated those

7    data with other surveys we’ve done over the decade and

8    then with local knowledge of the regional offices.

9             We’ve hired partnership folks who — who know

10    those neighborhoods for the hard-to-count neighbors and

11    the neighborhoods that have changed into ones where we

12    anticipate challenges.  We’ve done special planning.

13    We’ve sat down way before the census.  This is over the

14    past few months.  We’ve identified the local resources —

15    the social organizations, the religion organizations,

16    community centers, people — places where people hang

17    out.  Sometimes these are barbershops or convenience

18    stores, and we’ve tried to take advantage of those

19    internal resources in the neighborhood to help us recruit

20    and to help us get the word out about the census.  If

21    we’ve done a good job in those neighborhoods, we are now

22    aware of the fact that there — they’ve gone through a

23    transition that there are multiple languages; that

24    they’re in the midst of a transition from one ethnic

25    group to another.  If we’re good, we’re on top of that


1    and we’re hiring people with multiple language skills.  I

2    can’t promise we’re perfect in every neighborhood of the

3    country, but that’s what we’re trying to do.

4             MR. COOK:  And that actually was our last call,

5    so you can close.

6             DR. GROVES:  Well, I thank you for coming here.

7    I have a terrible cold.  I’m sorry.  I thank you for

8    coming here.  I — I thank this wonderful technical

9    center for hosting us.  This is a — for those of you on

10    the phone, we’re at a wonderful neighborhood center that

11    is training young people in high-tech skills for the —

12    for the coming economy, and it’s a wonderful sight to

13    see.  I thank them for hosting us.  I thank you for your

14    questions, and I hope everyone in this audience and on

15    the phone, when they get their questionnaire, will fill

16    it out and mail it back.  Thank you very much.


18             (Whereupon, the press briefing concluded

19             at 8:48 a.m.)









2                   )  ss



5             I, BRANDY STULL, Certified Shorthand Reporter

6    qualified in and for the State of California, do hereby

7    certify:

8             That the foregoing transcript is a true and

9    correct transcription of my original stenographic notes.

10             IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand

11    this 2nd day of March, 2010.





16                                  _________________________

17                                  BRANDY STULL
CSR No. 13381








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